Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Death Row Interviews [BBC, 2012] #RisingChina #DeathRow

This program ran across two important periods in defining how  China sees the point of no return. 

With an updated outlook in 2011, it shed 13 crimes from its list of the unpardonable.  This series would have captured this transition with a source of personal narratives that would otherwise never would never see light of day. In some ways this program demonstrated a willingness of the state to give some latitude toward intense self-examination. No longer running, Interviews Before Execution first aired in 2006 and covered 226 interviews with death row inmates until 2012.

Also, see

Why China Executes So Many People (The Atalantic, May 11, 2013)
The Bureau Investigates – The dead talking (March 13, 2012)
NBC’s Behind the Wall: Chinese TV show ‘Interviews before Execution’ stirs controversy (March 13, 2012)

– – –

Death Row Interviews
Source – BBC on Youtube, Published on 16 May 2013

Every Saturday night in China, millions gather around their televisions to watch Interviews Before Execution, an extraordinary talk show which interviews prisoners on death row.

In the weeks, days or even minutes before they are executed, presenter Ding Yu goes into prisons and talks to those condemned to die. Combining clips from the TV show, never-before-seen footage of China’s death row and interviews with a local judge who openly questions the future of the death penalty in China, This World reveals a part of China that is generally hidden from from view.

Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Democracy, Education, Government & Policy, Human Rights, Ideology, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

China Threat? Former French Diplomat Says No [Forbes] #RisingChina #PeacefulDevelopment

Adding empathy to the eye of the beholder: a gap in the China Threat perception.

In trying to grasp the motives of a more assertive China in territorial disputes such as the South China Sea, Vairon suggests the U.S. try putting itself in China’s shoes for a moment. He posits a situation where China stations its navy in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean’s due to disquietude with the U.S.-Cuban relations.

Also see –
A Q&A with Lionel Vairon, author of “China Threat?” (CN Books)
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China Threat? Former French Diplomat Says No
By Heng Shao, Forbes Staff
Source – Forbes, published July 29, 2013

Is China a threat? Not by nature, but perhaps by reaction, said former French diplomat Lionel Vairon at the launch of the English version of his book, “China Threat?” last Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He believes that the fear of a rising China results from the inability of Western countries to recognize China’s legitimate national interests. China will become problematic only if dominant powers attempt to contain it and deny its place in the international society.

20130730-074028.jpg

Former French Diplomat Lionel Vairon (Second To Right) At The Launch of “China Threat?”

Vairon, who worked as a diplomat for 16 years in Asia, Africa and the Middle East for the French government and now runs a strategic consulting firm in China, traces the fear of China to a Western mentality still fixated on the Cold War era. Whereas hegemony of super powers was the norm of the past, the current philosophy of international relations should adapt to a “multi-polar system without any major power,” Vairon argues.

“It’s important for us to understand that the colonial time and the imperial time is over,” says Vairon. “Now we’re not talking about new super powers, China will be No.1, No.2.” Rather, China is more concerned with defending its own national interests than becoming the next overlord.

In trying to grasp the motives of a more assertive China in territorial disputes such as the South China Sea, Vairon suggests the U.S. try putting itself in China’s shoes for a moment. He posits a situation where China stations its navy in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean’s due to disquietude with the U.S.-Cuban relations.

“I wonder how [America] would react in the region.” Vairon says. “The U.S. [needs to] recognize that China has vital interests in its neighborhood, which doesn’t mean controlling or invading…It just means ‘we don’t you to be on our borders.’ ”

“We are threatened, so are the Chinese,” Vairon adds.

Please click here to read the entire article at Forbes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Forbes, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Talent shows get thumbs down from regulators [Global Times] #RisingChina #CulturalCapital

China takes step toward further media convergence… 国家广播电影电视总局 + 中华人民共和国新闻出版总署 forms tag team as print and broadcast regulator.

To prevent the homogeneous development of TV programs and to provide audiences with diversified choices, a restriction was announced on July 24. A news release from The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television to Xinhua stated, “Satellite broadcasters should stop investing in any new singing competition shows; shows that have already been produced, but have not yet aired, should not be aired until after the summer vacation; and the series currently being aired should be aligned with different schedules.” See Repeat Offenders (Global Times, July 28, 2013)

Also –

Hong Kong: Two powerful Chinese media regulators merge (see Mondaq.com, July 24, 2013)

According to the Plans for Institutional Reform and Functional Transformation of the State Council, the newly merged ministry of broadcast and press is principally responsible for the overall planning of the development of the press, publication, radio, film and television industries, the supervision and administration of the relevant organizations and businesses, as well as the contents and quality of publications and radio, film and television programs, and copyright administration….

The new “super ministry” was formed by combining and streamlining the functions previously performed by each of SARFT and GAPP separately on its own. Such combination does not appear to have changed the power configuration among itself, the Ministry of Culture, the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”).

– – –

Talent shows get thumbs down from regulators

By Yu Jincui
Source – Global Times, published July 28, 2013

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), formerly known as SARFT, is imposing new restrictions on televised musical talent shows.

It announced last week details of “regulations and controls” to cap the number of singing competition programs, demanding a stop in the creation of new entries in the genre and the postponing of the airing of shows not yet broadcast. It also warned the television stations to avoid “extravagance, dazzling packaging and sensationalism” in the shows, and encouraged originality and creativity in show content.

The purpose of the new regulation, as SAPPRFT stated on Wednesday, is to “avoid the monopoly of television programs, offer the audiences more options and satisfy people’s diverse demands for a more vibrant television culture.”

It has been reported that 13 singing talent shows were previously scheduled to be aired this summer.

Though many questioned whether Chinese audiences need so many repetitive shows, government watchdog’s decision to step in is also disfavored by quite some audience members. They think the decision should be made by the market.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, global times, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Great Wall, Ideology, Influence, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Strategy, The Chinese Identity

Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content [Global Times] #RisingChina #SocialMedia

Happening inside the Great Firewall right now if one cares to look –  is China’s great convergence of minds deliberating a consensus forward on a scale never seen before.

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Hackers, bloggers and professors team up to tap into blocked microblog content
By Xuyang Jingjing
Source – Global Times, published July 28, 2013

With over 500 million registered users and over 46 million daily active users, Sina Weibo is the largest and most influential social media platform in China. It has also become known as a fostering ground for discussions with a more liberal slant.

But what is not allowed to be discussed on Weibo perhaps says just as much as what can be. There are a number of projects that aim to uncover content blocked on Weibo. Most of the people behind such efforts are China watchers based overseas or foreigners living in China. While they may have different approaches and backgrounds, their efforts are successful in bringing this vanished content back to light.

One such project, Freeweibo.com, won the 2013 Bobs, or Best of the Blogs awards, for best innovation in June. The Bobs awards, started by Deutsche Welle in 2004, are given out in 34 categories in 14 languages, and aim to honor the open exchange of ideas of free expression.

Hu Yong, a professor at Peking University and a new media observer, served as a juror at the awards. He commented that Freeweibo preserves digital memories and makes disappeared content visible again, according to the official website of the Bobs.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Digital Times, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity

How CNN uses disaster to propagandize against a government [Hidden Harmonies] #RisingChina #Propaganda

On CNN agenda setting and the manufacture of dominant narratives.

For more, see
一样的出轨,两样的CNN (Guancha, July 26, 2013)

– – –

How CNN uses disaster to propagandize against a government
by Yin Yang
Source – Hidden Harmonies, published July 24, 2013

(最近,一些中国朋友对这篇文章表示兴趣。我简单解释。两年前,中国温州有高铁遇意外。最近,西班牙的高铁也有意外。右边的CNN报告是关于中国的意外。左边是报西班牙的。这两篇文章非常清楚。CNN关于中国文章的目的是骂中国。不像西班牙的报告, 唯一关于意外。这是他们的宣传技巧。这是西方媒体的宣传技巧。他们不希望中国高铁进入他们的市场。中国人,行业,社会,政府都需要被他们骂的臭臭的。)

Western propaganda has become an art-form, and for the unsuspecting audience, it is invisible. If you decide to be critical though, you will immediately see how thinly-veiled the propaganda is. Some of you might have heard about the recent high-speed rail crash in Spain, killing 69 people according to the latest count. The weird coincidence is that China’s Wenzhou crash was exactly 2 years ago.

Below are two articles from CNN reporting on the crashes. On the right column is of China’s crash two years ago and on the left column is a recent coverage for Spain’s. Notice how the Spain article is about the accident while the article on China is a condemnation of China’s HRS and governance. CNN can find tons of criticism and dwissatisfaction on Spain’s Internet too if it wants. Yes, right now. CNN can find critical things to write about the Spanish government: for example, Spain woefully under-funds its infrastructure. These are CNN’s explicit choices to make. See the glaring difference in the articles as a result of the choices CNN made. Welcome to “free” press.

Source - by Yin Yang, Hidden Harmonies, 2013

Source – by Yin Yang, Hidden Harmonies, 2013

DO note the table above is not complete , please click here to view the entire table and full article at Hidden Harmonies.

Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, CNN, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Disaster, Education, High Speed Rail, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Transport, U.S.

How Mao created China’s capitalist revolution [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Reform #Mao

Reform made of sterner stuff… crossing China’s ideological chasm from the old to new.

One of the most interesting and paradoxical explanations originates with Mao, the very person who had such a destructive effect on China in the last decades of his life. By razing the edifice of old China as relentlessly as he did, Mao may have actually cleared the way for Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s subsequent reforms, thereby playing a role in China’s rebirth that Mao could never have imagined while alive.

– – –

How Mao created China’s capitalist revolution
By razing China’s old value system, he cleared the way for Deng’s reforms
By Orville Schell And John Delury for the Washington Post.
Source – printed in Straits Times, published Jul 27, 2013

20130728-081831.jpg
A statue of Mao Zedong in Shenyang, Liaoning province. No leader in 20th-century China was more totalistic and unrelenting in attacking traditional culture than Mao. By force-marching Chinese society away from its old ways, he presented Deng with a vast construction site on which the demolition of old structures and strictures had been mostly completed, ready for reform and opening up. — PHOTO: REUTERS

IN HIS opening remarks at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, an annual meeting between high- ranking United States and Chinese officials, Vice-President Joseph Biden spoke about his first visit to China in 1976, the year that Chairman Mao Zedong died.

“It was already clear then,” he said last week, “that China stood on the cusp of remarkable change.”

That was 37 years ago, when China was still one of the poorest countries in the world – even after a century of experimentation with one formula after another for making the nation wealthy and powerful again.

It was by no means clear back then whether the incipient changes Mr Biden sensed would really take hold. Few imagined that by the early 21st century, China would be in a position to challenge the US economically, militarily and even in the contest for soft power.

So, after spending so many generations mired in a cycle of failed reform and revolution, how did China finally manage to chin itself up into its present period of prolonged economic dynamism?

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, History, Ideology, Influence, Maoism, Modernisation, Nationalism, New Leadership, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

12th ‘Han-Language Bridge’ competition 第十二届”汉语桥” [China HunanTV] #RisingChina #CulturalCapital

Chinese public diplomacy with edutainment at its sharpest, in a reminder to the world – we’re not a militant monolith!

University students from 77 countries congregate to exchange narratives in modern and traditional Chineseness. That their introductions took up more than 11 minutes out of the 79 minute runtime was pretty cool..

It is also noteworthy that Chinese state media channels are not exactly sitting idly as state instruments. Their creativity and platforms for expression are worth catching up on, if Mandarin isn’t a barrier. In any case, the production and narrative values are good enough it’s worth watching if you’re got an hour plus to spare.

For more – 中国湖南卫视官方频道 China HuNanTV Official Channel to see a spread of their content.

第十二届”汉语桥”15强诞生 五洲选手尽展别样风情-【湖南卫视官方1080P】20130717

【湖南卫视第十二届”汉语桥”-本期精彩】汉语桥共赏东方美。同筑中国梦!本届”汉语­桥”世界大学生中文比赛以”我的中国梦”为主题。来自77个国家96个赛区的123名­优秀大学生选手将参加复赛和决赛,一展他们出色的汉语能力和亮丽的青春风采。梅葆玖、­单田芳、易中天、元华等文化艺术界大师亲临现场,分别以京剧、评书、解字、武术的形式­展示中华文化之精髓。

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Government & Policy, Greater China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Youtube

A Rising China Needs a New National Story [Wall Street Journal] #RisingChina #NationalNarrative

A Rising China Needs a New National Story: The WSJ prescribing a need for China to ‘define itself with a more constructive national story’. In doing so, they identify China’s a potent motivator for its continued rise thus far – a dominant hegemonic us and them narrative that resonates across all strata of Chinese, within and outside China.

Still, it is time for China and the more vociferous propagandists in Beijing to move beyond declarations about China’s “one hundred years of national humiliation.” That period has come to an end. The world has changed, China and the West have changed, and a new narrative is necessary for China to achieve its declared aim of equality and a “new type of great power relationship.”

For more, check out Professor Schell in an assessment of China’s long-term plans back in 2006. [running time about 1.5 hrs]

Orville Schell: China Thinks Long-term from The Long Now Foundation on FORA.tv

Also, see the Hidden Harmonies response to the article here.

– – –

A Rising China Needs a New National Story
To move forward, the country must move on from its emphasis on a century of ‘national humiliation’
By Orville SCHELL and John DELURY
Source – Wall Street Journal, published July 12, 2013

Source - Malcolm Greensmith Collection/The Image Works The capture of a Chinese Imperial Dragon Standard at the Battle of Chusan during the First Opium War. Painting by Malcolm Greensmith.

Source – Malcolm Greensmith Collection/The Image Works
The capture of a Chinese Imperial Dragon Standard at the Battle of Chusan during the First Opium War. Painting by Malcolm Greensmith.

Every July, amid festivities and fireworks, the U.S. and France mark their birth as nations. Accustomed as we are in the West to histories that begin with triumph—the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the storming of the Bastille—it may seem strange that China, the fast-rising dynamo of the East, marks the beginning of its journey to modern nationhood in a very different way: with the shock of unexpected defeat and the loss of national greatness.

Many Chinese date the start of their modern history to Aug. 11, 1842, when the Qing Dynasty, by signing the Treaty of Nanjing, capitulated to Great Britain in order to end the disastrous First Opium War (1839-42). It was from this and many other subsequent defeats that China’s political elites—including the most progressive 20th-century reformers and revolutionaries—wove an entire national narrative of foreign exploitation and victimization. Even today, this fabric of ideas continues to hold powerful sway over China’s relations with the rest of the world.

The artifacts of China’s formative moment can be seen at the Temple of the Tranquil Seas, which sits on a narrow slice of land in the northwest part of Nanjing on the banks of the Yangtze River. It was here, in the oppressive heat of August 1842, that Chinese negotiators were forced to sit with their British counterparts and hammer out the crushing terms of the treaty. The negotiating chamber in the old temple has now been restored to something resembling its original state. A nearby exhibition covers the painful history of “China’s unequal treaties,” which imposed territorial concessions and onerous indemnities that remained in force until the 1940s.

Please go here to read the entire article at the Wall Street Journal online.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Education, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

Preferential Treatment for Foreigners (Laowai) in China [ChinaSmack] #RisingChina

If you have four minutes to spare.

Please turn on English subtitles if required!

– – –

Preferential Treatment for Foreigners (Laowai) in China
Source – Chinasmack, on Youtube, published July 21, 2013

A recently popular Chinese video covering some of the differences in how foreign nationals are treated in Beijing (and China overall) compared to “wai di ren” (Chinese citizens from other parts of the country) when it comes to purchasing homes in the city, taxes, starting and operating businesses, having children, and getting education for their children. Chinasmack, 2013

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, China Smack, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Ethnicity, Government & Policy, Ideology, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

U.S. Seen Losing to China as World Leader [Pew Global Attitudes Project / Wall Street Journal] #RisingChina #Perception

Brand China making headway outside its borders.

China will replace America as the leading superpower, according to an international global attitudes survey released on Thursday, even though just half of the nations polled view China favourably.

These are among the major findings of the Pew Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project, which conducted surveys in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013. It is the first study to gauge public responses to China to such a large scale.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Education, Greater China, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Wall Street Journal

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